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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 14/02/2010

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Steel and concrete prices plunged last year in Abu Dhabi due to economic slowdown, a report said
 on Saturday.

The steel prices plummeted 43.9 per cent while concrete rates declined 13.5 per cent in the emirate in 2009, according to a report issued by Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, or SCAD, part of Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi.

The steel and its products were the worst affected in the construction material that saw a decline of 12-43.9 per cent, the report said. "Steel price plummeted 43.9 per cent below their 2008 level," it said. High tensile steel registered the largest drop 50.7 per cent in the steel group, reflecting a decline in the average price per tonne of high tensile steel from Qatar, UAE and Turkey by 50.2 to 51.3 per cent from Dh4,080 per tonne in 2008 to Dh2,130 per tonne in 2009, it said.

The price of flat steel dropped afterwards by 50.2 per cent, mirroring the decline in the average price of flat steel from UAE and Turkey by 52.5 per cent and 47.9 per cent, respectively.

According to SCAD, the price of steel bars shrank by 47.8 per cent from Dh4,000 per tonne in 2008 to Dh1,970 per tonne in 2009.

Likewise, the price of the price angled steel dropped 46.7 per cent below the average for 2008, due to the fall in the price per tonne of angled steel from Turkey, Ukraine and Korea by 52.4 per cent, 46.4 per cent and 47.9 per cent, respectively.

Beam steel was no exception, its average price having retreated 34.4, owing to the decline in the price of large beam steel from Japan by 38.8 per cent, while Ukrainian and Korean steel went down by 37.6 and 26.9 per cent, respectively.

RBC mesh prices plunged 38.6 per cent, while binding wire was the item that showed the slightest decrease of 12 per cent within the steel group.

There was a decline of 6.6 per cent in the cement group against its level in the year 2008, during which cement price exhibited a 19.8 per cent rise compared to 2007, the report said.

The cement group that exhibited a strong upward trend, reaching a peak in third quarter of 2008, but declined subsequently, reflecting the onset of the financial crisis. Cement prices had since been retreating until fourth quarter of 2009.

The average prices of the various types of cement blocks, showing drop of 36.1 per cent in the price of this item during 2009, compared to 2008. Cement blocks prices surged of 17.3 per cent in 2008 against their levels back
 in 2007.

The average price of concrete for the period 2007 - 2009, revealing an advance in the price that continued up to third quarter of 2008, when the trend reversed and the price eventually bounced back to its initial level in 2007.

The average price of concrete declined by 13.5 per cent in 2009 compared to 2008, following a steep rise of 61.4 per cent in 2008 above its average price for 2007.

A rise of 6.7 per cent in the average price of aggregate and sand in 2009 was reported. To draw a comparison, the average price grew 43.6 per cent in 2008 versus 2007.

The rise observed in 2009 was driven by the sharp increase in the prices of all types and sizes of aggregate, from Dh34.6 per cent in 2007 to Dh68.8 in 2009, which marks an increase of 98.9 per cent.


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